ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prosaic Truth in Parliament

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One of the functions of Parliament is to provide institutional space, promote deliberation and offer discursive/communicative space for hitherto marginalised, muted sections to acquire skill and power of knowledge to make speeches that are proportionate to the public cause they are supposed to represent in Parliament. The culture of deliberation in Parliament is a measure to assess the normative quality of the speech in terms of how close it is to the social reality that lies outside Parliament. Deliberation becomes robust because it is packed with the force of transformative reason and processed through democratic procedures. Transformative reason finds its purpose and validity in an enactment of pro-people legislations. It is needless to mention that legislating on public matters is the result of thoughtful and careful deliberations. The question that needs to be raised here is, if reason is the main driving force of deliberative speeches, why does one find an increasing use of emotions in the speeches made by the members of Parliament (MPs)?

Here we need to acknowledge that deliberation in the Indian context has been accommodating in it, both ethical/moral as well as rational elements. Apart from the power of reason, deliberation for its reinforcement also requires an additional power of morality that seems to be required to not only drive the point home but also to get other members to appreciate the importance of the public concern being articulated in the speech. Some of the members are forced to invoke emotions in particular contexts of social and health tragedy. Invoking emotions in the speech, arguably, becomes unavoidable when the opposition members fail to yield any response from the government. Hence, speech with good emotions becomes necessary to recover the moral valuation of the victims of various forms of incarceration and, in the recent case, of COVID-19. Without the aid of either reason or good emotions, such valuation is likely to be lost between the denial of intensity and magnitude of tragedy and its accurate description. It has been alleged that some of the government authorities have not been providing entire data regarding steps taken to control the pandemic or the exact figure of the dead. The laps in accurate description of the pandemic by the medical experts has been another problem.

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Updated On : 7th Aug, 2021

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